February 9, 2005 |
In "Voltaire in Exile," Ian Davidson presents a miniaturist's view of the vast panorama of 18th century cultural change and upheaval we know as the Enlightenment, focusing on the last 25 years in the life of one of its embodiments, the French philosophe Voltaire, to give the contemporary reader a sense of the excitement and uncertainty of the movement that laid the foundations of the modern world.
October 29, 2004 |
As celebrity love triangles go, among the most complicated -- and historically significant -- was one that found the 18th century French writer Voltaire caught in an emotional tug of war between his mistress, the brilliant aristocratic Emilie du Chatelet, and his admirer, Frederick the Great, the poet-warrior king of Prussia. Their amorous adventures helped shape the turbulent intellectual, political and religious currents in an age of cultural transition.
September 19, 2004 |
"Champagne," actress Marlene Dietrich said, "gives you the impression that it's Sunday, that the best days are still to come." But there's more to the roi du vins than mere bubbles and promises, as my husband, David, and I found on a visit last winter to the Champagne region.
March 5, 2004 |
At the J. Paul Getty Museum last fall, a painting near the end of the great retrospective exhibition of French Enlightenment sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon showed the artist at work in his studio. His friend Louis-Leopold Boilly painted Houdon in the midst of sculpting an academic figure from a nude model, seated to the right. A figural pyramid anchors Boilly's composition, in good Neo-Classical fashion, with its stable base established by Houdon and his subject.
March 3, 2004 |
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has received the gift of a life-sized plaster sculpture of French thinker Voltaire by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Houdon, widely considered Europe's finest 18th century sculptor, is best known for his sculptures of Thomas Jefferson (the basis for the portrait on the nickel), George Washington (a heroic marble statue), Benjamin Franklin and the French writer and encyclopedist Diderot. The J.
June 7, 2002
Re "We've Had Enough Witch Hunts," Commentary, June 4: Let me get this straight. Robert Scheer would have us ignore the obvious. Like it or not, most terrorist acts over the last 30 years have been perpetrated by male Muslim extremists. Common sense tells us that future attacks are likely to come from the same source. But we must not acknowledge that fact. Well, as Voltaire observed, common sense isn't very common. At least so it seems when political correctness comes into play. Eugene P. Carver Rancho Palos Verdes